Celebrating our core priorities

It’s in a time of great community celebration I’m blessed to have the privilege to share this inaugural column in our county’s largest print media outlet. Thank you!

Our celebrations are focused around a couple of the core priorities and strengths of our community. Our families, our children, our volunteers and our future.

Our families just finished the 22nd annual Chinga­wassa Days Festival in Central Park. We shared amazing entertainment and events for our families and guests to our town. For years, the Chinga­wassa Days committee, an extremely dedicated and committed group of individuals, have given of their time, talents, and treasures for the sheer enjoyment of their friends, families, and neighbors.

Our children have successfully wrapped up another school year of amazing academic accomplishments, all while our student athletes have earned state­wide recognition in baseball, football and track this year.

The volunteers of the Chingawassa Days committee are just one example of the incredible community engagement and service in our community. As mayor, I’m honored and extremely proud of the 46 appointed volunteers currently serving on our community advisory boards that range from honoring our history, creating ever expanding recreational opportunities, defining our housing focus and driving our transportation needs of the future.

As you have read in recent articles, Marion’s Coble Street housing addition is a collaborative effort to improve the housing needs of our families and growing labor workforce in the area.

The foundation of this effort, was laid in 2016 when 16 volunteers pulled together to create and execute a housing assessment tool project, in support of the elected officials vision for Marion. Their work identified the type of housing needed which is what lead to the development of the Coble Street addition.

I encourage anyone interested in participating in this amazing opportunity and project to contact Randy Collett, our city’s economic and community development director.

As we enter June, we hope you’ll clear some time in your schedule to experience the multiple recreational, cultural and educational activities in the area.

To mention just a couple:

◼ The Chisholm Trail Exhibit is going on in the Historic Elgin Hotel May 30 through July 24.

◼ Later this summer the International Opera Work­shop in the Flint Hills, in partnership with the Symphony in the Flint Hills, will occur in our Marion Historical Community Center Ballroom.

As for your elected officials and city staff, June is focused very intently on developing the municipal budgets for fiscal year 2019. The target is a budget that delivers all the services you desire and expect from your city while maintaining the fiscal responsibility of providing strong and consistent stewardship values.

This stewardship is anchored in serving you, our citizens, and what you desire from local government. The only way we know your priorities and expectations is to hear from you.

Please take the time to share your priorities, vision, and dreams with your elected officials. This ensures the continued success of the republic in which we live.

But I’m sure your city councilors, county commissioners, school board members and hospital board members share the same desire to hear from you and to serve you in a manner you will be proud to say, “Marion is my home and Marion Matters.” – Todd Heitschmidt, Marion Mayor

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